By J. Robert McClure III, PhD., JMI President & CEO
We have heard much about the Tea Party movement since its inception. Many credit Rick Santelli’s rant against bailouts, government spending and self-dealing politicians on CNBC from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade as the spark for this influential movement. Since its inception, however, those opposed to limited government have, in no particular order, ignored the Tea Party movement–referred to it as “Astroturf” (as though the movement were a weak attempt to manufacture an anger that wasn’t there), called it racist, referred to those involved as ignorant rubes, and labeled it extreme.The reality of the movement, however, is much different (surprise, surprise) from the perceptions promoted by the old media and the Left. In a fascinating study by the Sam Adams Alliance called The Early Adopters: Reading the Tea Leaves and its subsequent report called The Next Wave: A Surf Report, the research shows among other things that those active in the movement (as a percentage of the American population) have rarely participated in politics until now, are more educated, and are more active in the community. They also tend to oppose a Third Party movement but are generally disgusted with both parties today. Moreover, they have a deep and abiding understanding of this nation’s founding documents and its history, and they are not going away.Suffice to say that despite the best efforts of the statists to tar the Tea Party movement, it is growing and appears to be on the political scene for the long-term. To read the full reports on this fascinating and influential political movement click on the links above or visit, and keep up the fight.